An American supercomputer has just broken the Exascale barrier and is the fastest in the world

The US has succeeded in developing the world’s first ‘true’ exascale supercomputer, in honor of a promise made by President Obama nearly seven years ago, ushering the world into a new era of computing power.

Until now, the fastest supercomputers in the world still operated on a peta scale, with a quadrillion calculations per second. The exascale takes this to a whole new level, reaching a trillion operations per second

The Frontier supercomputerBuilt at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory at the Department of Energy in Tennessee, it has now become the world’s first known supercomputer to achieve a processor speed of 1.1 exaFLOPS (1.1 trillion floating point operations per second, or FLOPS

The result was confirmed in a benchmarking test called High-quality Linpack (HPL). As impressive as that sounds, Frontier’s ultimate limits are even more staggering, as the supercomputer is theoretically capable of peak performance of 2 trillion calculations per second, the Oak Ridge lab says:

All theory aside, however, it is the standardized HPL benchmark that matters most in TOP500, a biannual ranking of the world’s most powerful supercomputers; Frontier’s debut score means it’s now ranked as the world’s fastest system in this elite field of machines.

“With an exact HPL score of 1,102 exaFLOPS, Frontier is not only the most powerful supercomputer that has ever existed – it is also the first true exascale machine,” says TOP500 announcement of the new ranking explains.

Technically, the exascale barrier was broken for the first time in 2020 by the [email protected] distributed computer project that works on various medical issues. But Frontier is the first true exascale machine because the calculations are not spread over countless home computers, such as [email protected]

Computer scientists have been building the exascale milestone for years, with the threshold representing a new level of computing power for calculating solutions to very complex problems involving vast amounts of data, such as modeling climate systems, inventing new types of materials and medicines, and peering into the deepest mysteries of physics.

Progress in the field has been almost as fast as the supercomputers themselves. For the last two years, the number one machine has been the Japanese supercomputer Fugakuwho scored 415.5 quadrillion FLOPS in 2020 (415.5 petaFLOPS).

At the time, that was nearly three times better than the machine that pushed it from number one, the IBM-built Summit supercomputer, which is also located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

In The new ranking of 2022Summit has been relegated to the fourth position on the TOP500 list (with a new score of 148.8 petaFLOPS), far behind the performances of Frontier, Fugaku (second place on 442 petaFLOPS) and newcomer LUMI from Finland, who scored 151, 9 petaFLOPS scored.

Of all these massively powerful supercomputers, according to TOP500, only Frontier has achieved true exascale performance, at least where it counts.

“Given that Fugaku’s theoretical peak is above the 1 exaFLOP barrier, there is reason to call this system an exascale machine as well,” says TOP500. Announcement is reading.

“However, Frontier is the only system that can demonstrate this on the HPL benchmark test.”

There is, some have pointed it outan elephant in the room: the absence of new Chinese supercomputers from the TOP500 list, which were not officially submitted for consideration in the competition.

This means we’re not sure how they compare to this year’s ranked systems, although Chinese supercomputers certainly have. did well in previous years rankingsand some commentators think China may have done that several impending exascale systems in the pipeline

That doesn’t take away from Frontier’s gigantic achievement. For now, this incredible machine ranks as the most advanced computer in the world – a $600 Million Powerhouse ready to tell us many wonderful and important things.

“Frontier ushers in a new era of exascale computing to solve the world’s greatest scientific challenges,” say ORNL director Thomas Zacharia.

“This milestone is just a taste of Frontier’s unparalleled capacity as a tool for scientific discovery.”

You can read more about Frontier hereand find TOP500’s ranking for June 2022 here.

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